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When is it Time to Look for a New Job?

William spends most of his day in frustration. He has been working in the same job for five years. He likes his co-workers. He has gotten positive annual reviews. And he is working inside the field he enjoys.

But he just doesn’t feel satisfied in his work anymore.

He has been waiting for a promotion with pay raise. He is wanting to grow.

William has been thinking about finding a new job, but he’s wondering if he should try to wait it out.

There are times when patience is the way to go when building your career. And there are times when it is best to go.

Here are some reasons to begin looking for a new job:

Reason #1 to Look for a New Job — You are Resentful:

We have all worked at places where we felt unappreciated or taken advantage of. The expectation that you work long hours. Sometimes more than 40 hours during the work week. And don’t get paid that well for the work.

Or perhaps you’re confused over how to achieve higher standing or promotion at the workplace. You keep getting high marks during your reviews. And your workplace keeps dangling promises of career advancement, but you have consistently been passed by.

You are trying to remain patient, but there is no clear path forward in your career.

If you are loving the environment and can be patient with where you are at, then you can, and maybe should, be patient and ride it out a bit.

But if you are becoming resentful of the place you work and it is having a substantial negative impact on your mental and emotional well-being, then it may be time to start looking for a change of scenery. You don’t want to get to a place of burnout.

Reason #2 to Look for a New Job — You Dread the Thought of Being There:

Some people start feeling physically sick at the thought of going to work. Not because of the pay. Or the benefits.

It’s because of the actual responsibilities of the job.

Or their boss. Or the co-workers that they work with.

The thought of going into work is a cause for substantial anxiety.

And my first suggestion would be to get some assistance to deal with the cause of anxiety through counseling. There are steps you can take to develop resiliency in the workplace.

But sometimes to create space to delve deeper into the causes, you need to take a step back. Finding a change of scenery for work can help you do that.

Reason #3 to Look for a New Job — You Are Angry:

Look, if the thought of being at work makes you flat out furious, why continue to go there? And if this anger is impacting your sleep or causing negative self-talk, it is probably time to try something new.

Being angry at your workplace rarely stays at the workplace. It often comes home with you. And that impacts your marriage. It impacts your relationship with your kids. It impacts your physical health.

There is no need to intentionally make a choice to work at a place that causes you intense frustration and emotional pain.

Reason #4 to Look for a New Job — You Are Consistently Bored:

Everyone needs stimulation. If you have been working at the same place and in the same position for a while, you may start feeling a little bored with what you are doing.

You are craving purpose in your work. You desire to be valuable and grow.

And you are not a static being. You are not the same person in your 20s as you are in your 40s.

You are allowed to grow. You are allowed to change.

And sometimes you outgrow a position. It’s okay. Look for something that will push you to grow some more.


There are times when having the security of a job costs a person more than what it is worth. If you are consistently finding yourself unhappy with your current employment, it may be best to look for a change.

But don’t make that decision out of anger, resentment, or anxiety. The best decisions are made while emotionally self-regulated.

If you are looking for help to make the best decision, consider finding a mental health therapist.


Jason Wilkinson is a therapist at Wellspace Counseling that helps professionals develop the decisions and confidence to thrive in their careers. Wellspace Counseling serves the communities of Tualatin, Lake Oswego, and Portland. He is also able to provide counseling throughout the state of Oregon through the use of online counseling.


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